Fact Check

Georgia Tornado

Photograph shows a tornado that hit Rome, Georgia, in March 2012?

Published Mar 4, 2012

Claim:   Photograph shows a tornado that hit Rome, Georgia, in March 2012.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, March 2012]

Taken in Rome, GA last night (3/2/12)... I got this off fox fives website go look...to me that doesn't look like a tornado, more like Hell...


Origins:   This item is one of many repurposed storm photos which is not only inaccurate to the time and place claimed of it, but doesn't even represent the stated type of weather phenomenon.

The photograph displayed above wasn't taken in Georgia and wasn't taken in 2012, nor does it depict a tornado. It's one of a series of May 2008 photographs of the Chaiten Volcano in southern Chile erupting during a nighttime storm:

Few sights in nature can compare to the sheer magnificence of a volcano erupting in full flow.

But while scenes of molten lava are relatively commonplace, this otherworldly picture of Chaiten Volcano in southern Chile shows a truly spectacular, and devastating, volcanic phenomenon.

This astonishing picture shows the Chaiten volcano erupting during storms in the middle of the night

As clouds of toxic ash and dust tower into the sky, they ionise the air, generating an explosive electrical storm. Colossal forks of lightning spark around the noxious plume as it spews from the volcano's crater, creating an image of raw, terrifying energy — as if the air itself were ablaze.

Last updated:   4 March 2012

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.